Texas Tech University

Mark Morton

Associate Professor of Double Bass

Email: mark.morton@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-4728

Office: School of Music, Room 216A

Mark Morton

Dr. Mark Morton is one of a very few bassists in the Unites States that can accurately claim equal measure of experience as:

  • a principal in a major symphony orchestra,
  • an internationally recognized double bass soloist,
  • a leading, innovative pedagogue.

Additionally, Dr. Morton plays and teaches both the French and German bows, and is an accomplished pianist – often accompanying his students in lessons and recital.

Morton has played under the direction of many conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Alexander Schneider, Hans Graf, Gunther Herbig, Vladimir Spivakov, Maxim Shostakovich, Gunther Schuller, Nicholas MacGeegan, Marvin Hamlisch, John Williams, Henry Mancini and Mitch Miller. Dr. Morton has twice appeared as the guest principal bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, Pinchas Zuckerman, Music Director. He has performed in Alice Tully and Avery Fischer Halls in Lincoln Center, the Musikverein in Vienna, La Scala in Milan, and has appeared in Carnegie Hall over 30 times.

 Additionally, Mark Morton is an accomplished pianist, having appeared as piano concerto soloist with several orchestras, including the Houston Symphony Orchestra. His recent release on Albany Records, Bottesini Greatest Hits features Morton accompanying himself on piano, for which American Record Review says, “Mark Morton is a fine player on both instruments, and the music is lovely…” Fanfare commented, “His intonation is fine, and he certainly handles the bravura passages well.”

Formerly, Dr. Morton was an instructor of double bass at Capital University, and Ohio Wesleyan University, and was the assistant double bass instructor for Gary Karr at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. In the summer, he teaches and performs alongside members of the Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras at PRISMA in, Powell River, British Columbia. He also teaches and performs in the Festival Internacional de Música in Naolinco, Mexico. Additionally, he has been on the faculty of a number of festivals in Costa Rica.

In summers 2012 and 2013, Morton traveled to Parma, Italy wherein the Conservatorio di Musica ‘A. Boito', the Giovanni Bottesini manuscripts are housed. There, he took 3837 digital photographs of these manuscripts and is currently cataloging them for the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma, preserving these priceless documents in perpetuity.

Though he has spent most of his career living in Ohio and New York City, Dr. Morton is originally from Texas and is 4-year Texas All-Stater – 2 years a second chair Symphony Orchestra, and two years as first chair Symphony Orchestra. The DrMarkMorton YouTube Channel is a go-to reference for TMEA All-State audition demonstrations, excerpts, etudes, and solos, and has garnered over 4300 subscribers and over three-quarters of a million views. https://www.youtube.com/c/DrMarkMorton

  Dr. Morton earned the undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School in New York, being the only bassist to earn the Artist Diploma, Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees all from Juilliard. While there, he was a member of the first historically informed performance group at Juilliard - the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra - under the direction harpsichordist Albert Fuller. The JCO performed a 13 city, 10 country tour of South America in summer 1983. Morton was also a member of the Bach Players, a student formed ensemble that performed all the major orchestral works of J.S. Bach. His principal teachers include David Walter, Channing Robbins, Stuart Sankey, Eugene Levinson, and Winston Budrow.

Morton performs on a double bass made in Milan, Italy by J.B. Guadagnini in 1765, a very large orchestral double bass made by Joseph and Antonio Gagliano in Naples, Italy in 1805, and copy of his Guadagnini bass by Paul Hart of Mt. Pleasant, UT in 2013.

Mark Morton is the author of the popular “Dr. Morton” series of double bass technique books and has numerous articles in all important trade periodicals.

Former students have achieved the following accomplishments:

  • 2 students were in the final trial period for principal bass of the Detroit Symphony
  • 1 student was in the final trial period for principal bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Professor of double bass at University of Iowa
  • Professor of double bass at Oklahoma University
  • Professor of Cello and Double Bass at San Angelo State University
  • 2 students have been first-prize winners of the ISB Solo Competition (professional division)
  • 3rd prize in the ISB Solo Competition (junior division)
  • Member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra
  • 2 students went on to graduate school at Indiana University
  • Attended Boston Conservatory
  • Attended Carnegie-Melon University
  • First-prize and second-prize winners of the Columbus Symphony Concerto competition

Morton is a D'Addario Artist.